Policy 7.27 Blue Ribbon Network: supporting infrastructure ...

Policy

Planning decisions

A  Development proposals should enhance the use of the Blue Ribbon Network, in particular proposals:

a  that result in the loss of existing facilities for waterborne sport and leisure should be refused, unless suitable replacement facilities are provided

b  should protect and improve existing access points to (including from land into water such as slipways and steps) or alongside the Blue Ribbon Network (including paths). New access infrastructure into and alongside the Blue Ribbon Network will be sought.

c  should protect and enhance waterway support infrastructure such as boatyards, moorings, jetties and safety equipment etc. New infrastructure to support water dependent uses will be sought. New mooring facilities should normally be off line from main navigation routes, ie in basins or docks.

LDF preparation

B  Within LDFs boroughs should identify the location of waterway facilities and any opportunities for enhancing or extending facilities, especially within opportunity areas and other areas where a particular need has been identified. 

Supporting text

7.80  In order to make the maximum use of the Blue Ribbon Network, particularly for effective transport, a range of supporting infrastructure is required. The infrastructure includes, but is not limited to; boatyards, jetties, moorings, slipways, steps and water side paths/cycleways. Their need and provision should be assessed by local authorities.

7.81  The Mayor commissioned research in 2007 to investigate the provision of boatyards in London[1]. From this it is clear that there is a particular shortage of boatyard facilities that are capable of inspecting, maintaining and repairing the larger passenger craft on the Thames. One of the actions in the Implementation Plan (see Chapter 8) will be to promote such a new facility.

7.82  Similarly, the historic steps and slipways to the Thames foreshore are often overlooked, neglected or even removed. These facilities are vital for enabling access to the Thames foreshore given the huge tidal range of the river and the Mayor wishes to see these facilities retained, improved and where disused, brought back into use.

7.83  The promotion of the use of the Blue Ribbon Network for leisure facilities is an important objective. Water provides opportunities for particular types of leisure and sporting activities such as rowing, canoeing and sailing. Water-based sport and recreation should be prioritized and facilities that enable or enhance these activities should be supported.

7.84  The range of permanently moored vessels, for example residential barges, restaurants, bars and offices can add to the diversity and vibrancy of waterways and London in general. However, their siting needs careful consideration so that the navigation, hydrology and biodiversity of the waterways are not compromised. Consents for and the use of new moorings should be managed in a way that respects the character of the waterways and the needs of its users. The BRN should not be used as an extension of the developable land in London nor should parts of it be a continuous line of moored craft.

[1] Adams Hendry. Assessment of Boatyard Facilities on the River Thames. GLA, April 2007